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Infant Mortality and the Repeal of Federal Prohibition

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  • David S. Jacks
  • Krishna Pendakur
  • Hitoshi Shigeoka

Abstract

Exploiting new data on county-level variation in alcohol prohibition from 1933 to 1939, we investigate whether the repeal of federal prohibition increased infant mortality, both in counties that repealed and in their neighboring counties. Using a binomial fixed-effects model, we find that repeal is associated with a 4.0% increase in infant mortality rates in counties that chose wet status via local option elections or state-wide legislation and with a 4.7% increase in neighboring dry counties, suggesting a role for cross-border policy externalities. Cumulatively, these estimates imply 26,960 infant deaths that could potentially be attributed to the repeal of federal prohibition.

Suggested Citation

  • David S. Jacks & Krishna Pendakur & Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2017. "Infant Mortality and the Repeal of Federal Prohibition," NBER Working Papers 23372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23372
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    1. Gregori Galofré-Vilà & Christopher M. Meissner & Martin McKee & David Stuckler, 2017. "Austerity and the Rise of the Nazi party," NBER Working Papers 24106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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